Family and friends

If a member of your family or a friend, or someone else you know is living with cancer, this group is the place to share your feelings and get support.

Telling children

Posted by
Hi everyone this is my first posting my 50 year old hubby has been fighting stage 4 bowl cancer for 12 months, he's gone through chemo a liver resection and tumour removed from bowl, last week we were told the cancers back with a vengeance and to go home to make plans, we're back on Thursday to see if he can have any chemo to extend life. I need advice how and when do you tell your 10yr old daughter, its 3pm another sleepiness night !,
Posted by

Hi Rosie, my heart goes out to you.  I am no expert but I have found most children to be very resilient as long as we tell them the truth.  Your best bet is to ring the helpline on this site and get their expert advice.  If you haven't already done so make the school aware of your situation.  

My husband has this evil monster in his gullet.  It was heartbreaking to have to tell our grown up children let alone our grandchildren.  Be thinking of you.  Take care.x

Posted by
I would tell her as you go along. I expect she knows daddy is poorly? No doubt when you get talking about daddy she will ask questions. It is the not knowing that is as scary and the potential loss I am sure. My 5 year old came straight out with it "is grandma going to die?" When I was explaining just how poorly she is which is why I go visit her a lot. He asked her questions about her chemo and hair loss, the most important being what type of hat did she want and did her air fall out right away? I think he envisaged her taking her calpol and he hair dropping right away. I love how simple it is when you are 5, I know there is a big difference between 5 and 10 and between grandma and daddy. But I think kids appreciate the honesty. I explained that see she would die one day, but not yet. In trith we dont know when but i had to give him some hope. i found a website that was helpful. Maybe its too young for your child, but it may help with the basic questions on cancer Basically its about being truthful but hopeful. Telling the truth but finding a positive maybe?as tough as it can be. Daddy may not get better but at least we have some time now to show him exactly how much we love him. Maybe make him pictures, go through holiday photos etc. good luck x
Posted by

Hi Rosie, I'm so terribly sorry to hear about your husbands prognosis. Such an awful time for you both and my heart goes out to you.

We are fortunate in that my daughter is an experienced mental health therapist nurse who works for CAMHS so deals with children of all ages plus we have a family member working  in children's social services. It has been our policy from the start to keep our 4 grandchildren (15yrs, twins of 14yrs and a 7yr. old) informed of their granddads cancer and it's implications on a gentle but truthful 'need to know' basis. We are a close knit family and have jointly provided a united circle of support and love  with open discussions as questions have popped up.

  It has been so obvious that granddad has been extremely unwell so  we thought it fair we kept them in the loop. Children cope very well as long as they are supported in all directions, particularly within the school environment. Most schools have some kind of support service these days where pupils can talk openly about their worries and concerns. Our grandchildren's schools have been excellent and we have found their input invaluable.

Children, like us, cope better with situations when they are prepared.

I hope this has been of some help to you at this difficult time. Thinking of you and sending you my love.

Zute xx

Posted by
Thanks everyone for advice were back to hospital for scan on wednesday because Paul my hubby is having trouble with his breathing the docs are checking for any blood clots on his lungs decided to take Ellie with us and have talked about how difficult it is to beat cancer she just sat and listened and looked very grown up if you know what I mean! Your all so right she liked being involved she's had a year of watching her daddy go through his treatment and it's heartbreaking watching her care for him, but honesty and step by step I think is the way forward . I feel better already thank you everyone. ps will try the website 2morro xx